Volleyball: Blue Raiders drop first game of the C-USA slate against Charlotte.

Kayla Henley makes a diving dig during the Blue Raiders four-set loss in their C-USA opener on Sunday. Photo by Kaitlyn Hungerford/ MTSU Sidelines

Story by Montana Findley

The Middle Tennessee State University volleyball team (6-9, 0-1) fell in their first Conference-USA match of the season against the Charlotte 49ers (10-7, 1-1) on Sunday. The Blue Raiders lost in four sets (21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 13-25) and are now 0-1 in conference play and 6-9 overall.

The Blue Raiders started out strong taking an early 3-2 lead, but Charlotte quickly took control. Charlotte led by as much as five at one point in the set, and while Middle Tennessee made attempts to keep things close, cutting the lead down to two at 17-19, the 49ers were able to close out the set 25-21.

The Blue Raiders struck first in the second set as they took an early 1-0 lead. Senior Mikaela Weidmann and freshman Kayla Henley executed consecutive kills to take a 3-1 lead. MTSU held onto the lead for the rest of the set, winning the set 25-20 thanks to a kill from senior Dora Peonia and a Charlotte error.

The third set was tightly contested from the start with both teams exchanging the lead early on. It would remain that way until a Charlotte run left them with a 19-13 lead. The Blue Raiders cut it close at 22-21 with another kill from Henley, who led the Blue Raiders in kills on the evening. Charlotte, however, remained in control of the lead and won the set 25-23.

Charlotte had four points on the board in the final set before MTSU had one. The 49ers lead only grew from there. Charlotte eventually took a 21-9 lead in the set, and while MTSU made an effort to keep it close Charlotte closed out the set at 25-13.

What’s next?

The Blue Raiders will continue conference play on the road Friday as they travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky to play the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.

To contact Sports Editor Elijah Campbell, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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